Jealousy is one the biggest problems that people in long-distance relationships face. Not all of us go through it, but most of us will deal with jealousy at some point or another. It may be a manageable twinge here and there, or it may be an ocean of paranoia. It is not uncommon and it can be dealt with if you’re willing to accept your emotions.
Crazy jealousy nearly ruined my relationship. I’m married now, but my husband went through a period that almost tore us apart. I was jealous of every woman in the world at that point. He could hardly even talk about his mother without me getting jealous! I’m ashamed to admit it ever happened–I’ve practically blocked that time period out of my head. If I was able to overcome such strong feelings of jealousy, you can too.
How to overcome feelings of jealousy
Talk about it. It might seem awkward to say “Hey, I’m jealous of _____. Can we talk about it?”, but it’s a lot better than the accusations and sessions of questioning that usually come with jealousy.
Keep yourself busy. Developing some hobbies and participating in some activities can help keep your mind away from those jealous feelings. Instead of sitting at home thinking “I wonder what he/she is doing right now…”, you’ll be busy doing your own thing. I found that this helped me avoid jealous thoughts and also improved my confidence.
Work on your own insecurity. Most episodes of jealousy stem from our own insecurity. You’re not actually jealous of your boyfriend’s female coworker, but rather a little insecure about yourself. Try to build your own confidence; after all, you’re amazing!
Manage anxiety. If you manage the stress and anxiety in your life outside of your relationship, you’ll be less likely to overreact when feeling jealous. Meditation and exercise are two of the easiest and most effective strategies for dealing with stress.
See a professional. Sometimes jealousy and insecurity can be so intense that you can’t beat those feelings on your own. If you’ve tried the suggestions in this article and still find yourself struggling with jealousy, it may be best to seek professional help. If you are a student, you can often get free counseling at your school’s health center.
How to handle a jealous partner
Stay calm. I know you want to yell at your partner and let them know that you’re sick of the paranoia and sick of the questioning. That will just make the situation worse, though. Try your best to stay calm.
Reassure your partner. As long as your partner is actively working on calming their feelings of jealousy, do your best to reassure them. Jealousy often stems from insecurities, so do your best to make them feel secure and confident about your feelings for them.
Encourage them to reexamine their behavior. Calmly ask “How would you feel if I questioned you like this?” and “Have I given you any reason to distrust me?”. Asking them to step into your shoes can help them realize how insane their behavior has become. Remember that the realization can be painful; for me, it came with lots of embarrassment (and still does.)
Have you dealt with jealousy in your long-distance relationship? How did you overcome it? Share your story in the comments section below.